August 6, 2017

With Jesus There is Always More

 

 

As We Gather:

We face so many arguments about food these days.  Go organic.  Go gluten free.  Go low carb.  Go vegan.  Go GMO free.  Our culture is deeply concerned about what sort of food we put in our bodies, because the old saying "you are what you eat" is fairly accurate.  While what sort of food we put into our bodies is an important concern, Jesus compels us to make another kind of food an even higher priority than the food we chew and digest.  Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.  Jesus feeds five thousand people, thereby revealing that He is the Word of God Incarnate, the food that feeds more than our stomachs.  Jesus feeds our souls.  This was foreseen by the prophet Isaiah who wrote, "Come, everyone who thirsts . . . incline your ear, and come to Me; hear, that your soul may live."  The food we put into our bodies is important.  Even more important is to gather in church for food that feeds the soul!

 

Old Testament Reading:

Isaiah 55:1-5

(Come, eat and drink without cost.)

"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.  Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.  Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.  Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you."

 

Epistle Reading:

Romans 9:1-5

(Paul anguishes over the people of Israel.)

I am speaking the truth in Christ - I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit - that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.  They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.  To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever.  Amen.

 

Gospel Reading:

Matthew 14:13-21

(The Bread of Life feeds five thousand.)

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself.  But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.  When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves."  But Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."  They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish."  And he said, "Bring them here to me."  Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing.  Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.  And they all ate and were satisfied.  And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.  And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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